Facebook & Youtube Shut Down in Pakistan

Islamabad: PTA has directed all concerned operators to shut down website www.youtube.com in view of growing sacrilegious contents on it. It may be mentioned that PTA after all possible avenues were used within its jurisdiction, including using regular channels available on the FACEBOOK and YOUTUBE to launch protest, to avoid appearances of derogatory material available on their websites - which increased in numbers as time passed by, that PTA decided to completely shut down these sites from being viewed within Pakistan. PTA has so far blocked more than 450 links on internet containing derogatory material.

It was not only in line with the Constitution of Pakistan, the wishes of the people of Pakistan but also an extension of the court orders passed by the honorable High Court of Pakistan and directions of the Government of Pakistan. PTA has already announced a phone number and a complaint number to receive complaints on the issue.

The attitude of administrators at FACEBOOK and YOUTUBE was in contravention to the WSIS Resolutions and their own policies advertised on the web for general public. PTA would welcome the concerned authorities of FACEBOOK and YOUTUBE to contact the PTA for resolving the issue at the earliest which ensures religious harmony and respect.

DoubleClick, Google Content Network and YouTube at OMMA Global

This week OMMA Global takes over the San Francisco Marriott Marquis, and Google will be there. Here's an overview of what's in store.

On March 17th, get a complete view of the art and science of rich media advertising from Google's resident rich media experts, Peter Crofut and Chip Scovic.

Next day listen to Neal Mohan, Vice President of Product Management, deliver his keynote presentation on opportunities in online display advertising. He'll cover changes in the display ecosystem, and how everyone can embrace these changes and achieve their goals. If you miss his keynote, be sure to catch the panel right after on Online Advertising - Rapid Recovery or Recession 2.0?, or the late morning session Connect with the Google Content Network with Jason Miller, Group Product Manager, Google Content Network.

Later in the day, Baljeet Singh, Senior Product Manager, Video Monetization will participate in the panel Can Online Video Reach Scale for Clients Budgets in 2010? Hear what he, and other experts, have to say about definition, scale and measurement when it comes to online video.

Our DoubleClick, YouTube and Google Content Network teams will also be at the Trade Show to let you know what's new and to answer your product questions.

Interested in attending? Register here, and if you’re a MediaPost member, your full-conference pass is FREE. You can also sign up for private networking sessions here. Use the code OGSF20 for a 20% discount.
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SES Takes Manhattan

The Search Engine Strategies conference will come to Manhattan later this month, from March 22-26, 2010, and Google will be there.

We'll be on panels and will be delivering trainings on topics ranging from AdWords and Analytics to Online Video, B2B search marketing and innovations in search. In addition, Analytics Evangelist Avinash Kaushik will be the keynote speaker, on March 24th, presenting new approaches to search analytics.

Our booth will be staffed with experts on products including Google AdWords and Analytics, DoubleClick and Webmaster Tools. We'll also be delivering a mobile ads presentation at the Expo Hall theater, which is free for all SES attendees.

Still need to buy a pass? Use 20GOOG and save 20%.

See you in the Big Apple!
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Connecting with Chuck Martin: The Facebook Grader

At Facebook, we're constantly connecting with interesting people—from experts and researchers to celebrities or visitors to our office. Occasionally, we'll share these conversations on the Facebook blog in our "Connecting with..." series.

Chuck Martin and a team of researchers from the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore School of Business & Economics recently found that the amount of time students spend using social media and services like Facebook does not affect their grades. I talked with Martin, a lecturer at the school and the CEO of organizational research firm NFI Research, about those findings as well the use of social media in his classroom and its impact on the workplace. Martin is the author of eight business books, including his soon-to-be released "Work Your Strengths."

You and a team of researchers recently looked at the correlation between using social media and grades. What would you say is the big finding from your perspective?

The big finding is that there is actually no correlation between the amount of time that students spend using social media and their grades. We found that basically the heavy users and the light users get pretty much the same grades.

In addition to the finding that there isn't a correlation, what were some of the results about just how much students are using social media?

For the purposes of the study, we considered social media to be Facebook, YouTube, blogs, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn.... This study was very wide. It was 1,100-plus students out of the 12,000 at the university, and we surveyed every college at the university.

But of the heavy users of social media, 63 percent got high grades, and of the light users, 65 percent got high grades. So there is no real difference between the two. And of the heavy Facebook users, 62 percent got high grades. The light Facebook users, 62 percent got high grades. It was identical.

And did that surprise you?

It didn't. Interestingly, the hypothesis of the students was that there would be no correlation and they were correct. But if you talk to any adults, adults were totally surprised by this. And adults and parents typically have the view that you need to spend more time on your homework and less time on your social media so that your grades stay high. Well, it turns out that it makes no difference.

Why do you think there is this disconnect? Is this just a generational gap, or something about how people use (social media) differently?

It's not just generational, it's actually behavioral. If you look at the students today, they have grown up with things like Facebook and YouTube and blogs and so forth, so it's not a separate thing. In the early days of the web, people would be at work or school and they would start surfing the web and two hours later they would come back and say, "What was I looking for? I forgot."

They basically got lost in the experience, and today with social media it's actually become integrated with people's lives. So it's not a separate thing where people leave life and go do (social media). It actually has become part of what they do every day....

They have a multitasking ability that's a little different?

I created a course for the university called "Social Media in Marketing." (During class) we had my presentation on the screen live, and we were dipping in and out of the web. We had a live Twitter feed projected to a large screen, and we had a third screen with another projection, where we had a back channel so that people could communicate anonymously on the big screen.... There were three big screens in front of the classroom with three live network feeds, and we also had video and we had people patched in by Skype.

Everybody in the room used a computer for the entire three-hour class, and they were encouraged and actually did interact. They were tweeting with people around the country during the class about the content, and people were tweeting from outside the classroom from different parts of the country with questions that we would then tackle as a group.

And it turns out that the engagement level of the students was higher than a traditional classroom. We talked to a neuropsychologist, who is actually one of my co-authors, about this multitasking aspect and his view was that it's not really multitasking. It's really using different media simultaneously on the same subject matter.

That's really fascinating because the conventional wisdom is, "Oh, this is just a distraction from paying attention to the lecture."

Right, we had people come in and monitor the class. We had trustees or we had the finance people, and they were all astounded by what they were seeing. Every class was longer than it was supposed to be because we couldn't really get the students to stop.

Do you find that it extends the conversation outside the actual class, and are there other ways of using things like Facebook beyond the lecture?

We actually, for that course, ran the course on Facebook.... Since this was social media, we decided that we needed to use social media and we created the course on a private (Facebook) group. So all of the members of the class were in the group, and then each of the (study) groups created their own Facebook groups for their teams. The difference between that and a traditional course was the course then ran 24/7 because people were having conversations about the content all the time.... We will be teaching this course again in the summer and will be using Facebook for that as well.

Thinking further out, though, do you think that more classrooms will begin to adopt this idea of using social media both in the class and outside?

When we were doing the social media course...we had requests from outside the classroom from other parts of the country that they wanted a live streaming feed. So one time we just streamed it live onto the Net, and that's because of the demand. It's not necessarily because the teacher said he wished to do this. It's because the market said, "Hey, we should do this." Once you use the back channel in a classroom, for example, and it's highly interactive, it's difficult not to have it.

Where do you see Facebook and social media fitting into the workplace moving forward? What would be your advice to business leaders?

Let (employees) do it and encourage it. It's just like in the classroom: The great fear of adults for our class was that (we would have) all these people behind computer screens and that they weren't going to be paying attention to the class (but) going to be shopping and doing all these other things online.

Nobody did that, nobody. It just didn't happen, and if that happened it would mean that I was failing as a teacher.

It's the same thing in business. If you let your employees do their work more effectively, they will work more effectively.

Matt, a manager on Facebook's communications team, passed paper notes as a back channel when he was in school.
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New Theme: Dark Wood

Go against the grain with “Dark Wood,” an eye-catching and playful theme. Bright colors and whimsical icons fuse with dark tones to provide a pleasing and harmonious design. Dark Wood is a three column theme with a rich wood textured background.
Dark Wood
When you’re looking for a theme with some serious character, Dark Wood could definitely be the one. Bright links and header icons give the design some real spice, complemented with a whimsical background.
Dark Wood doesn’t leave out the extras either. There are two sidebars that can be packed with widgets and the search box comes styled nicely to match the design.
Dark Wood's Sidebars
Dark Wood will provide a pleasing and harmonious backdrop for your blog. Give it a spin and see how you like it.
Dark Wood is available for all WordPress.com sites and is available for WordPress.org users over at the Theme Directory.
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Introducing Google Buzz widget for Android

Since we launched Google Buzz for mobile, we've been working on ways to make it quicker and easier to share your thoughts and experiences while you're out and about.

Today, we're excited to release a Google Buzz widget for Android phones that lets you post text and photos with a single tap. Like other mobile access points for Google Buzz, the widget lets you choose to tag your post with the location or place from which it was posted. You can post buzz about a great meal you had and share photos of the new restaurant. To save time, your posts will upload in the background, letting you get back to your scrumptious dessert without a wait.

The widget is initially available in English for Android phones running v1.6 and later. Search for 'Google Buzz' in the Android Market to download it now. Once installed, you can add it to your home screen: tap "Menu" while on the home screen and select "Add > Widgets > Google Buzz".

We plan to add support for other languages soon. Visit our Help Center to learn more, ask questions in our Help Forum, or give us suggestions and vote on other people’s on the Mobile Product Ideas page.

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Orkut for Android — live folders, photo upload and more!

Orkut is now ready to roll on mobile phones with Android. Now you can stay connected to your orkut friends wherever you go -- via scrap notifications, direct photo uploads to your orkut albums, and a phonebook synced to your orkut friends' phone numbers and status messages. Orkut for Android lets you stay in touch with pals through...

Orkut friends live folders
Simply add the list of your orkut friends as a live folder on your home screen, and you'll be able to browse through your friends list even when not under data network coverage. The live folder also lets you communicate (via call, scrap or SMS) with your friends in a single click. To install a live folder, click "Menu > Add > Folders > Orkut" on your Android device's homescreen after installing the orkut for Android application.

Photo uploads to your orkut albums
Gone are the days when you needed to download photos from your Android phone to your computer and then upload them to your orkut albums. Now you can simply upload photos from your Android Photo Gallery. Just click "Menu > Share > Orkut" while browsing your photos in the Android Photo Gallery to get started.

Scrap notification
You will get notifications on your Android device when you have new scraps on orkut. The notifications will appear on your Android device notification bar; clicking on notifications will take you to your scrapbook page.

To install the orkut for Android application visit Android Market from your Android device and search for "orkut" under the social applications category. You can also directly scan the QR code below to install it. Note that this application is available only for Android devices running version 1.6 or higher.

Hope to see you on orkut for Android soon!

Posted by Deepak Sethi and Alok Goel, software engineer and product manager

(Cross-posted on the Google Mobile Blog). .

Broadcast Yourself

Around the globe, YouTube has become a metaphor for the democratizing power of the Internet and information. YouTube gives unknown performers, filmmakers, and artists new ways to promote their work to a global audience and rise to worldwide fame; makes it possible for political candidates and elected officials to interact with the public in new ways; enables first-hand reporting from war zones and from inside repressive regimes; and lets students of all ages and backgrounds audit classes at leading universities.

Yet YouTube and sites like it will cease to exist in their current form if Viacom and others have their way in their lawsuits against YouTube.

In their opening briefs in the Viacom vs. YouTube lawsuit (which have been made public today), Viacom and plaintiffs claim that YouTube doesn't do enough to keep their copyrighted material off the site. We ask the judge to rule that the safe harbors in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the "DMCA") protect YouTube from the plaintiffs' claims. Congress enacted the DMCA to benefit the public by permitting open platforms like YouTube to flourish on the Web. It gives online services protection from copyright liability if they remove unauthorized content once they’re on notice of its existence on the site.

With some minor exceptions, all videos are automatically copyrighted from the moment they are created, regardless of who creates them. This means all videos on YouTube are copyrighted -- from Charlie Bit My Finger, to the video of your cat playing the piano and the video you took at your cousin’s wedding. The issue in this lawsuit is not whether a video is copyrighted, but whether it's authorized to be on the site. The DMCA (and common sense) recognizes that content owners, not service providers like YouTube, are in the best position to know whether a specific video is authorized to be on an Internet hosting service.

Because content owners large and small use YouTube in so many different ways, determining a particular copyright holder’s preference or a particular uploader’s authority over a given video on YouTube is difficult at best. And in this case, it was made even harder by Viacom’s own practices.

For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately "roughed up" the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko's to upload clips from computers that couldn't be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt "very strongly" that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube.

Viacom's efforts to disguise its promotional use of YouTube worked so well that even its own employees could not keep track of everything it was posting or leaving up on the site. As a result, on countless occasions Viacom demanded the removal of clips that it had uploaded to YouTube, only to return later to sheepishly ask for their reinstatement. In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing us over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself.

Given Viacom’s own actions, there is no way YouTube could ever have known which Viacom content was and was not authorized to be on the site. But Viacom thinks YouTube should somehow have figured it out. The legal rule that Viacom seeks would require YouTube -- and every Web platform -- to investigate and police all content users upload, and would subject those web sites to crushing liability if they get it wrong.

Viacom’s brief misconstrues isolated lines from a handful of emails produced in this case to try to show that YouTube was founded with bad intentions, and asks the judge to believe that, even though Viacom tried repeatedly to buy YouTube, YouTube is like Napster or Grokster.

Nothing could be further from the truth. YouTube has long been a leader in providing media companies with 21st century tools to control, distribute, and make money from their content online. Working in cooperation with rights holders, our Content ID system scans over 100 years worth of video every day and lets rights holders choose whether to block, leave up, or monetize those videos. Over 1,000 media companies are now using Content ID -- including every major U.S. network broadcaster, movie studio, and record label -- and the majority of those companies choose to make money from user uploaded clips rather than block them. This is a true win-win that reflects our long-standing commitment to working with rights holders to give them the choices they want, while advancing YouTube as a platform for creativity.

We look forward to defending YouTube, and upholding the balance that Congress struck in the DMCA to protect the rights of copyright holders, the progress of technological innovation, and the public interest in free expression.

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